I shall certainly be contributing my views to this budget consultation, though I note that there is only an option to spend taxpayer’s money and not to save it. Like so many other years I guarantee that, regardless of the consultation process, this budget will not forge a path to surplus. It will increase the call on taxpayers to finance public services in future years, even when times are now exceptionally hard. It will increase the city’s debt to a level beyond our ability to pay. It will reduce further still your economic liberty. Every council must realise that it isn’t there to help everyone, and that in many cases people are best left to make their own decisions about how they spend their own money.